President Obama pays a visit to the West Side Market.

News Archive

Eclectic art, couture, street wear, delectable edibles, potent potables and of course all things local round out an eclectic Ohio City shopping trip that will accommodate just about any holiday list.


The OHC Argus rounded up a slew of examples, but let the buyer beware that stock at these indie shops is constantly changing. The good news is that if an item referenced here is sold out, chances are something just as delightful has taken its place.


The Art Pad

4118 Lorain Ave.



Three U.S. Presidents are now a part of Ohio City’s rich history.  President Barrack Obama made a surprise visit to the West Side Market during this year’s Market Centennial.  Candidate Ronald Reagan campaigned at the Market in 1980.  More than a century earlier, long before entering politics, James A. Garfield preached at Franklin Circle Christian Church.  Yet there always has been one lingering question surrounding the lore about Garfield: Was this lay minister’s preaching time here cut short because of a pay dispute?  We now know the answer is “yes,” confirmed by a fragile copy of The Plain Dealer dated April 9, 1894.                       .

Last year I led an after-school creative writing club for fourth- and fifth-graders at my son’s school. On the first day everyone introduced themselves – name, grade, what kinds of books you like, etc. Everything was going fine until we got to Mary Jane, who stood up and declared: “My name is Cheez-It. I was born on Mars, and I moved here from California yesterday.”

For about two seconds, no one reacted. Then hands shot up all around the room as the other kids begged to change their answers. To restore order I had to prom-ise that the following week we’d set aside time to choose nicknames for everyone.

It will soon be May and that must mean that it is time for the annual Ohio City Home Tour. We say that this year marks the 24th anniversary of this traditional Ohio City event, but is that true? Some reflections upon history tell the story of how this signature event has helped to catalyze and promote the redevelopment of our neighborhood.

When Greg and Tana Peckham began graduate school at Case Western Reserve University neither of them anticipated moving across the river to Ohio City to raise a family together.  To begin with, when they both started graduate school they weren't a couple, and they didn’t exactly come from similar backgrounds.  Tana came to Cleveland after being born and raised in the heart of Philadelphia, choosing Case thinking that she would have the support of an aunt and uncle in Shaker Heights.  Turns out her arrival coincided with their departure from the Cleveland area.  So the Philly native found herself a stranger in a strange land without the comforts of family or the Liberty Bell.  That wasn’t a problem though--she didn’t plan on sticking around after getting her master’s degree.

Norma Polanco-Boyd grew up in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood in the 70s and 80s. It was a gritty, blue-collar neighborhood in the grips of a recession then, densely built with brick bungalows and walk-up apartment flats that housed every ethnic group under the sun. It was a great place to grow up, she says, and she has many vivid memories of walking to the library or corner store and playing in the local park.

“There were pockets that were a little dangerous, but elements that were really cool,” says Polanco-Boyd, whose Mexican-born parents immigrated to the U.S. before having kids. “My parents were lower middle-class, and Humboldt Park was affordable and close to their jobs. Growing up, I thought you had to be rich to live in the suburbs.”

As a foot and ankle expert, Brian Donley, MD, is used to putting his best foot forward in the practice of medicine. And now, as the president of Lutheran Hospital, he is putting his best effort into continuing to offer top-notch health care services to the Ohio City community.

“Our mission at Lutheran Hospital is to provide the highest quality care that meets the specific needs of the populations we serve,” says Dr. Donley. “Toward this end, we work hard to identify what health care services are required and then we secure the best staff and most advanced equipment and technologies available to fulfill those needs.”

Ohio City has an enormous asset in its 100 nonprofit and community organizations, with missions ranging from education to social service to healthcare to the arts.  Combined, they employ 3000 individuals and have a collective budget totaling several hundred million dollars.  It is through the Ohio City Dialogue, which includes all of our community organizations, that we can create a healthier, more vibrant, and sustainable community through agglomeration and collaboration.  The goal is to maximize the impact, efficiency, and innovations of the services provided, build a stronger community, and increase understanding and acceptance of the nonprofit sector both internally and externally. 

Thanks to critical funding from Charter One Bank, Ohio City residents that live south of Lorain Avenue have seen sorely needed improvements to their neighborhood in recent months.  These include the repair and beautification of ten homes, expansion of the ever–popular Ohio City “Pie Slice” street signs, and rejuvenation of two bountiful community gardens. 

 There is no question as to why these new cleanup and beautification efforts have been focused in the South of Lorain neighborhood initially with the hopes of expanding neighborhood-wide.  The affordable historic housing stock as well as the proximity to the Market District, RTA and other amenities make SoLo a desirable neighborhood on the rise.  Recent news that the Monroe Cemetery is receiving funds for a major renovation only adds to this excitement. 

Northeast Ohio has been granted somewhat of a reprieve from frigid temps and blustery snow showers this season, but that did not stop the organizers of Brite Winter Fest from celebrating the region’s least celebrated season. Residents and visitors of Ohio City collected around bonfires near Market Square, drawing together in the spirit of community but also for warmth, to listen to local bands and down their fair share of hot chocolate or libations from hip plastic mugs.

 The temperatures dipped below the freezing mark, but luckily folks could duck into myriad establishments along W. 25 to thaw. For a place like Johnnyville Slugger, maybe it was their first time or maybe they had been there before, but everything felt new and fresh.